Choosing a bottle of wine for any occasion can bring with it all sorts of unwarranted pressure.
Finding your go-to brand, bottle or grape is a difficult task that seems to never end, especially when you a) aren’t able to do a taste test, or b) don’t have time to translate the description on each bottle.
“A hint of coffee and burnt toast, with a subtle lick of fynbos and blueberry” – what even does that mean? It’s exhausting. We’ve been there.
But then we found a range of wines that are suitable for any occasion and, because we love you, thought we’d share what we learnt about them.
So the next time you find yourself wondering which bottle of wine to chose to take to that dinner party, not only will you know it’s damn tasty, but you will have all the facts and figures behind it, too.
First, introducing the The Chocolate Block:
Winemakers Comments: The 2015 Chocolate Block is a blend of Syrah (71%), Grenache Noir (15%), Cabernet Sauvignon (8%), Cinsault (5%) and Viognier (1%). Read more here.
Tasting Notes: The nose is exceptionally intense and complex with red berry fruit juxtaposed against a dark, brooding fruit compote and Swartland violets. Read more here.
International Acclaim: Listed by the five “prestige” London retailers (Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges and Hedonism Wines), The Chocolate Block can also be found at highly respected independent UK retailers such as Berry Bros & Rudd, Handford Wines and Wholefoods.
Then there are the hotels: In the on-trade, they have listings at The Ritz and The Stafford Hotel, The Hotel du Vin Group, The Gordon Ramsay Group, Vivat Bacchus and Nobu.
The wine is also listed at a restaurant called Pitt Cue where a group of South African bankers consumed 13 double magnums for lunch back in February.
And most importantly, it’s Seth’s favourite.
Next in the range is the Boekenhoutskloof range:
Winemakers Comments: The Syrah is sourced from three different sites. While two vineyards contribute to a substantial amount of the current bottling, the original Wellington vineyard still contributes roughly 40%. Read more here.
Tasting Notes: The nose offers cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves with an abundance of dark plums and violets with hints of white pepper and dark chocolate. Read more here.
International Acclaim: Take all those top five retailers where you can find The Chocolate Block and add Vivat Bacchus. The Syrah is also listed at High Timber and The Dorchester Hotel as well as the Mandarin Oriental.
Heston Blumenthal, well-known international chef, has said it’s his favourite wine and bottles of vintage Syrahs have been shipped to his Fat Duck restaurant in Bray.
Winemakers Comments: The Semillon has been predominantly sourced from the oldest vineyard in South Africa, planted in 1902 on alluvial soils with a high loam content. Read more here.
Tasting Notes: The nose shows a melange of freshly squeezed citrus, pear, orange blossom, lemon curd and honeysuckle. Read more here
International Acclaim: The Semillon is a firm favourite of the Nobu restaurant group (One&Only) with listings on both sites – it was one of the highest scorers in their food & wine matching tastings which they do before listing any new wine.
One of its newest listings is for Mere Restaurant which is the first restaurant from Monica Galetti, well-known here for working with Michel Roux Jr at Le Gavroche and also being one of the judges on Masterchef.
If those are too high brow for you, Boekenhoutskloof has also created The Wolftrap Red and Porcupine Ridge. Grab your grape of choice in either of those, and we promise you’ll have chosen a crowd favourite each and every time.
As always, it’s an absolute pleasure.
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